What can $90 million get you?

First of all, I’d like to apologize for my spotty attendance lately. I’ve had several personal issues I’ve needed to attend to, and lately my health hasn’t been good. I was in the hospital yesterday and just haven’t felt up to it.

I have tried to maintain a consistent presence over the years, but have not been good so far in 2012. I apologize to you and promise to do better. I also appreciate your continued support.

Thank you.

This past few days have given me time to think, and, or course, attention drifts to the upcoming baseball season. Usually, this time of year has the optimism of spring training. With the Yankees making moves to improve their pitching, the Mets have done little.

The Mets’ projected payroll for 2012 is $90 million, which is a long separation to that of the Yankees, Phillies and most any other team expected to contend for the playoffs.

There have been examples of teams with small payrolls contending and even reaching the playoffs as Tampa Bay, Milwaukee and Minnesota proving over the years.

Winning can be done with limited financial resources, but a common denominator has been building with homegrown talent, having it develop and locking in the key pieces. Evan Longoria, Ryan Braun and Joe Mauer are prime examples. At one time, that’s what I thought the Mets were doing with David Wright and Jose Reyes.

Wright is entering the prime years of his career, but he is doing so with a string of nagging injuries the past few seasons and a lack of complementary support. The Mets aren’t in a hurry to trade him, but the fact they are contemplating it is all the proof you need to know where this franchise is headed.

Teams can compete – to a point – with a $90 million payroll, but doing so requires a strong foundation, and that’s also lacking. Ike Davis, Jon Niese, Ruben Tejada, Josh Thole, Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy are young pieces, but I would be hesitant to label them a core for the future. We’ve only seen a smattering of promise from them, but also flaws and in some cases an injury history.

None possess the potential Wright and Reyes had when the Mets signed them to long-term contracts early in their career when the winning window was wide open.

Yes, 2006 seems like a long time ago.

If Niese and Davis, Duda and Tejada can play well, others stay healthy, and veterans such as Wright, Jason Bay and Mike Pelfrey play to their potential, the Mets could make some noise.

But, that’s a lot of things that have to break right for a franchise that’s been on a negative slide, and not going away is the potential $400 million hit from the Ponzi scandal.

I can’t say things won’t break for the Mets, but it is January, time for positive hoping if you’re a baseball fan.

3 thoughts on “What can $90 million get you?

  1. $90M gives you our rotation of

    *Santana
    Niese
    Dickey
    Pelfrey
    Gee

    *someone else to fill in since he is injured.

    The rotation says all you need to know about the team. We need pitchers that have an ERA better than 5. We need pitchers that have a good chance of finishing the 7th.

    You will not find that here.

  2. John, I’m glad you are back and out of the hospital!

    I am of the opinion that this team may indeed need Selig to step in, and get Fred to sell the team. It seems inevitable that this thing is not going to work out.

    I think we have a good front office in place, which may stabilize things a bit, but how long can this franchise tread water? Do the Wilpons truly have a plan to stay in business and at the same time build a steady, contending ball club?

  3. Paulunde(2)

    Yes. The plan is to have 10 or more rubes pony up $20M each to give to the bankrupt owners to do with as they please. This will allow the owners to pay their debts that are due.

    The new minority ‘partners’ ostensibly get to say they ‘own’ the Mets. Perhaps they get free parking when attending the game. I bet they still have to pay to get in.

    As for competitiveness the hope is that Santana, Bay and Wright exit their contracts which allows Sandy to replace them at less $. If the pitchers down under mature as we hope we will have a rotation. There is also a position player or two that can step in around 2-4 years from now.

    That is the plan.